Chronicles of a Clinically Dizzy Blonde AKA One Bite at a Time

If you believe good things will happen, they will. It doesn't matter if that's because good things actually happen, or you choose to make the things that happen, good.

So I haven't been around much lately.  I've really needed to make the time to write, but I just couldn't find the time, or the heart.

It's been a rough few weeks.

As anyone living with chronic illnesses can tell you, life can be somewhat unpredictable.  You'll be cruising along, feeling blessedly normal and free from sickness or symptom, and then you will be completely derailed for days, weeks, sometimes months.  The best way to get through is to remind yourself that a better day/week/month may be just ahead.
I had great plans for 2014.  I dubbed it "The Year of Yes" and decided - at least after grad school is over - I'm going to do really seize the moment and do everything and anything fun and social that I can physically and financially afford.  Even if it's not something I'd normally agree to.
I also wanted to try to qualify for Nationals again - and this time GO.  I even put money aside to try to do it. 

Apparently, 2014 did not have the same plan for me.  My ears have bothered me since fall and my physicians were working to confirm my diagnosis of Meniere's Disease so that future treatment approaches can be planned.  But after a 3rd hearing test and a VNG (below), the ENT decided that this time the debilitating tinnitus, imbalance, dizziness, pressure in my ears, and headache must be related to my migraines and not my ears.

So, after bouncing around from walk-in clinic with ear infections and pressure, then to the ENT, I'm back where I started 10 years ago: the neurologist.

It's extremely frustrating.  I could feel great, then BAM! Outta nowhere the dizziness, fullness in my ears, and ringing begins.  They tell me eventually I also could have some hearing loss. My inner ears react poorly to both cold or hot or my head rolling from side to side.  Sometimes it lasts for the better part of months.

Swimming is sometimes very uncomfortable.  I almost cancelled my cruise a few weeks back. I keep chugging along, doing as much as I can.  But I am definitely not anywhere back to actually "training." 

Last year I said the same thing, but I promise I was training more.  No 5ks have been done, and I have NO plans for an "accidental century" (although I did an accidental metric century a few weeks back.)

Life has been generally turbulent for everyone around me.  Mom and Dad have somewhat stabilized but still need some treatments; the little cat is stable but still sometimes throws up everything she eats.  And, unfortunately, we got some sad news a few weeks ago - my big cat, Mister Arnie, is now terminal.  His cancer is spreading all over his body and his only hope is a splenectomy.  He's been my best friend for 8 years, so this has been a very hard few weeks for me.  He may have just a few months left with us, although the surgery could buy him years.  As with my own chronic illness, we just don't know what will happen.

But, as my dad always told me, there's only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.

The unfortunate truth is this: when you decide to make any big decision in life, you roll the dice.  No matter how well-informed and pragmatic you are, the outcome is never 100% certain and some decisions are just very difficult.   Whether you choose to do something as major as adopt a pet, or as small as go for a bike ride in the middle of a bad vertigo/migraine attack, things could go so many different ways. 

Like last year, maybe this won't be a year of focus on bettering myself or making PR's.  Arnie's treatments will take everything I have, so I probably won't be able to celebrate my nomination to a special consortium by attending the meeting in Hawaii in May.  But here's what I have learned from  2013: things CAN be very good AND very bad at the same time.  Whether that means that good things actually happen, or you just choose to make the things that happen good.

All you can do is the best you can with what you have, and take one bite at a time.

And give lots of love to one of the finest little furry gentlemen that's ever lived.

So, that's what I'll be doing.

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